Health today - why are we lowering the bar on our standards?
As a full time practitioner of the Universal Medicine Therapies in Sydney I see a broad mix of men and women of all ages and with varying professions, from trades people to corporates there is a common theme of people feeling burn-out, exhausted and generally overwhelmed by life. What I’ve come to realise as I talk to people about their state of health and wellbeing is how much as a society we’ve lowered the bar on what we consider healthy to be. Healthy is no longer waking up feeling vital, joyful and full of beans but rather the absence of sickness like the common cold or flu.
When I question people about their state of health what is interesting to note is that most commonly their first response is usually an ok or good but when I probe a little deeper to say ‘how is your sleep?’ for example they’ll share that they have trouble getting to sleep, wake up through the night or need to take sleeping tablets or a Valium to get any at all. This isn’t isolated to sleeping issues, you can pretty much guarantee that if you ask someone about their back, energy levels, digestion or menstrual cycles for women in particular they’ll say ‘oh yes but I’ve had that issue for years.’
From what I’ve observed in my clinic it appears the longer we have a condition the more likely we are to accept it as being part of our normal, which brings me to question why are we letting our standards drop so considerably on what we consider healthy to be? Could it be that whilst we’d all like to enjoy the benefits of being healthy actually living it requires a consistent commitment and responsibility to love and care for our bodies that we’re resisting?
If we made maintaining our health our number one priority in life everything about the way we live would have to change. No longer would we be able to stay up late watching TV, indulge in unhealthy foods or over eating, abuse our bodies with drugs and alcohol, smoke cigarettes, over work or push our bodies to the extreme with hard exercise to name but a few of the many ways we abuse our bodies, making life about health first would mean we would have to live in a way that deeply honours how delicate and fragile we innately are.
These are two words most adults and men in particular feel uncomfortable relating to themselves and their body, yet in truth we all bruise, bleed and get hurt just as easily as the day we were born. These qualities may be perceived as a weakness in society but what if it was the disconnection from this preciousness that allowed us to so consistently override the needs of our body? If we were to treat ourselves with the love and care of a newborn baby our choices would be entirely different and based on what we needed to flourish in life, not survive the tension we’re living in and under by medicating ourselves with food, alcohol and the like.
If we are to turn around the dire state of health in this world and raise the bar on what we consider ‘healthy’ to be the only way forward is to first accept how divinely precious we are and take full responsibility for living in a way that honours this down to the detail of what time we go to bed, how we prepare our space and tuck ourselves in at night. When it comes to our health and wellbeing there is no detail that doesn’t matter.